Guess who moved to Mesa eight years ago, today?
That would be me.
I cannot believe I've been here for eight years. In some ways, they've been the fastest years of my life. In others, they've been the longest. ... But no matter how I look at it, I struggle to believe I've been here.
For. Eight. Years.
It's a funny story, actually, how I ended up here. I knew it was time for me to make a move (pun intended), and for several months prior to making a final decision, I was weighing Provo, Utah and Louisville, Kentucky as my options.
You heard me: Kentucky.
What can I say? I read a lot of horse books when I was a kid, and Kentucky was painted as a very lovely place. Rolling hills, thoroughbreds, white picket fences, etc. Also, I had a good friend and former roommate who lived in Louisville who I'd been to visit a few times. I'd fallen smack in love with the architecture, the rolling hills, the fall color, the general kindness of anyone/everyone I met. ... I'm telling you, southern hospitality is a real thing, people.
Utah was tempting, because it was familiar. Kentucky was tempting because it WASN'T familiar. In Utah, I'd be surrounded by extended family. In Kentucky, I wouldn't have family for, literally, thousands of miles. I felt like they were both great, viable, options and I just needed to make the choice between two really good sides of a coin.
And then I prayed about it. ... And couldn't get confirmation from The Man Upstairs on either plan. (And I'm here to tell you, I made QUITE A CASE for both of them. Nevertheless, I couldn't get a warm fuzzy to save my soul.) So, I asked a flat out, open-ended question about where I should go. And it came flying at me: Phoenix.
I'm pretty sure that I rolled my eyes and thought something along the lines of, "Yeah. Right. Sure. Move to the desert. That's gonna happen." And then I thought about it for a minute - just long enough to ask, in prayer, for confirmation that Phoenix was the right place for me to be - and I had an overwhelming feeling/recognition that I needed to be in the valley of the sun.
I went home and went online and, within hours, found an apartment in my price range online. I went to work the next week and arranged an interview to transfer with the company I was already working for. Maybe six weeks later, I packed up my car and drove myself down to said apartment and moved in over President's Day weekend.
And I've been here ever since.
Here, where I fell into the lap of the most incredible church community I ever could have asked for. Here, where I've met and worked with some of the most quality people I've known in my entire life. Here, where I am - at most - three hours away from my parents. (They've made a trip down more than once because they knew I needed them, and I'm beyond grateful that I haven't been 6,000 - or even 600 - miles away from home.) Here, where my brothers and their families live. Here, where Jo is only five minutes away. Here, where I have had access to medical treatment in facilities that were fully equipped and able to handle my bizarre needs. Here, where my beloved Dr. H practices. Here, in an apartment that has never been too expensive for me to justify staying in my own place, even when I couldn't work.
Eight years and two months ago, I was pretty hellbent on making a wildly different decision than I ended up making. Now, I'm sure I would have had a heck of a support system, no matter where I'd ended up in the early winter of 2006 (I have a knack for attracting the best people, everywhere I go), but I'm so glad that I stayed in Arizona, that I ended up here.
Happy Anniversary to me and my teeny tiny (600 sq ft) apartment, my city of residence, and all of the people who've been along for the ride in this phase of my life. Life is good. Even when it's crazy, it is good. I am blessed.